dealing with rude doctors? - page 2

new grad. started working about 8 months ago. slowly getting to know doctors. two times ive had to contact a doctor. i work night shift. both times i called and it wasnt past 10 pm. first time,... Read More

  1. by   Creamsoda
    I would write and incident report. My facility uses the incident reporting process for everything. Not just major issues, but everything including unprofessional behaviour. If you were too worried to react to the situation when it happened, I would write an incident report against him for his behaviour. May not do much, but if theres multiple complaints, then he may eventually get spoken too.
  2. by   TheCommuter
    When dealing with rude doctors via telephone, I would present a quick snapshot of the patient's clinical situation. Then I would say, "The ball is now in your court. How would you like to proceed?"

    It worked like a charm...
  3. by   2016New
    Quote from Sour Lemon
    The original post was made without capital letters or spaces ....just one giant block of rambling text. Mine may not be the response the OP wanted to hear, but her communication style could be a factor in how her calls are received. Even "nice" doctors are capable of getting irritated if the "right" nurse calls.
    I agree it had rambling but that does not reflect the way i spoke to the doctor.

    Thanks for pointing things out. But this doctor does have a reputation regardless of which nurse calls. He hasnt yelled at only me, but others as well.
  4. by   2016New
    Quote from nutella
    Your options are to report his behavior up to your manager / HR and hope that something will happen (which usually does not happen since they are still "untouchable" in a lot of places and could in turn make you a target ..)

    Or you call, do your SBAR spiel and if the provider does not answer but insults you or questions you stay calm and say something like "sorry, this is inappropriate behavior and does not address the patient's needs at this time" and wait. If you manage to say that in an even professional matter of fact way most often the other person will turn it down some notches. Also works in person for inappropriate behavior but it is essential that you are secure, calm, and it comes across like you could not care less about that person's behavior while pointing out that it is inappropriate. If you do not get a meaningful response or the other one hangs up just call again with your SBAR and make sure you document in an object way like "called provider name at time for this or that - provider did this and that". This way - if your patient circles the drain and something happens - you have proof. And also document if you informed the charge nurse or other higher ups. If it is a community hospital you are most likely stuck with that person if they have allowed the provider to act like that. If you work in a teaching hospital and it is a resident you can bring it up to the attending.


    Method number 2:
    If you that this provider always insults nurses who call and it has happened to you call and say first thing "Hi Dr name this is nurse name - you are on loudspeaker in the nurse's station. Proceed with your SBAR - this way you have witnesses for the behavior and it may actually result in the provider toning it down a notch. Make sure that you are in a room where relatives or visitors can't hear the conversation because of confidentiality.


    Fact is that hospitals and HR should address behavior like that, there are plenty of recommendations and research about it. But fact is also that this hardly ever happens or results in action. If they have accepted this stuff for a while, chances are you will take the shorter stick if you complain or keep on complaining.
    Getting a thick skin and learn not to take stuff like that personally will serve you well as you will encounter many professionals (including nurses ...) who are not always behaving their best, in an inappropriate way, or otherwise unbalanced. Once in a while I have said stuff like "by the way - do you realize that your behavior is questionable at best?" in a calm tone and without any additional info and in rare instances with in person crazy encounters I did not say anything to the provider and just turned my back and walked away slowly without responding to craziness. That resulted in the provider starting to yell like a nutcase "don't turn around when I speak with you followed by questionable insults to which I said "please approach me when you have calmed down".
    It is also important that if you do chose to say something to not talk about it afterwards with other nurses or anybody. Just go on with your day. That will help to get out of that spiral of getting upset over the provider, talking about it, getting more upset and so on and will give you the aura of resilience that you need nowadays as a nurse.
    I went to my assistant director/manager and let her know what had happened. She did tell me that "bullying" is unacceptable and to write her and my director an email about both times i called.

    As i said, he has a reputation of being rude and yelling at nurses and nothing has been done so far.

    I have yet to send the email. Not sure if it would like im complaining? Or look bad against me? As we will always encounter rude personalities...not every doctor is nice like the others ive had to call.
  5. by   2016New
    Quote from 1sttime
    I also found that as a manager I observed the ramblings of many (many) nurses- do not assume the charge nurse is any better at communication. You might be polite and professional, but this doesn't mean pertinent.

    As a triage nurse I learned to be very brief and then let the MD ask any questions so that they can put the picture together.

    A third option is that maybe your charge nurse is trying to toughen you up- I had a charge nurse tell me to call a doc late at night when I noted the patient was on narcs but did not have colace ordered... that was terrible of her to do.
    This is the patient. This is the situation. These are the vitals. What would u like to do.

    Nothing more was given. Just straight to what needed to be said.

    Thank you.
  6. by   Scroll89
    I work night shift and there are just two doctors that we can't ever impress. Unless they are already up admitting the patient, calling them is sure to have disastrous results. Only time I didn't get an ear-full or attitude is when I called about a 52/28 BP on a septic pt with 30mcg/min of Levophed and 0.02u/min of vasopressin. Got that order for push dose phenylephrine real quick. Recently I got hung up on for calling about a 39 glucose, told him I treated with an amp of D50 and BG was 157 after the amp and just wanted to let him know. He was mad because the hypoglycemia protocol is in place so we don't have to call for orders. What he didn't realize is that there was also a "notify physician if" intervention that had "Any critical lab value" as a reason to call. Can't win em all, and makes you mad, but oh well.

    Edit: Can't remember what the dose of the vasopressin was, know it was half the maximum rate per min or per hour. Oh well, we almost never use it.
    Last edit by Scroll89 on Sep 3, '16
  7. by   MYSTICOOKIEBEAR
    Tell them something along the lines of "You are being completely unprofessional and extremely rude. I am asking you to do your job so that I can safely deliver YOUR patient care in a timely fashion". That usually shuts them up and gets them into line really quick.
  8. by   carolinapooh
    Quote from Sour Lemon
    Your way of communicating in writing makes me wonder how well you communicate on the phone. Is it possible you could rehearse your calls beforehand with someone on else on the unit? That was truly difficult and irritating to read.
    Some people don't write well. (OP, I'm not saying you don't.) We aren't the content police and this isn't a forum of English professors. We also have many people on this forum for whom English is not their first language.

    I don't care how badly spoken someone is, no one should be told by another professional in a non-clinical situation that perhaps they're the ones who need medicating. No MD needs to threaten to call someone's supervisor just because they don't like the way someone worded something. Who do these people think they are anyway?

    If someone spoke to me in that manner - and I HAVE been spoken to in that manner by a physician - they wouldn't get by with it. They'd get reported to their boss. They're not gods and I'm not a doormat.

    I'd suggest addressing this with the person in question, but I don't know if that would get you anywhere or not. At the least I'd document when he did this and what he said, and keep an account. I'm serious.

    If we keep letting this stuff "roll off our backs" - when no other corporation (IBM, Sprint, Glaxo, you name it) would tolerate the antics of these people and would get HR involved, they'll continue to treat us like servants. I'm not a servant. I'm not a handmaiden. And I don't work for them - I'm meant to be working WITH them. No other profession would tolerate this type of behavior. Not. One.
  9. by   carolinapooh
    Quote from MYSTICOOKIEBEAR
    Tell them something along the lines of "You are being completely unprofessional and extremely rude. I am asking you to do your job so that I can safely deliver YOUR patient care in a timely fashion". That usually shuts them up and gets them into line really quick.
    That's pretty much what I did in a similar situation. I told the guy his abusive language wouldn't be tolerated. The charge nurse freaked out on me - and I told her I'm not his employee and if my father or husband couldn't (or wouldn't!) speak to me that way, why should he? It was abusive. I reported him. He never did it again to me or to anyone else.
  10. by   carolinapooh
    Quote from 2016New
    I went to my assistant director/manager and let her know what had happened. She did tell me that "bullying" is unacceptable and to write her and my director an email about both times i called.

    As i said, he has a reputation of being rude and yelling at nurses and nothing has been done so far.

    I have yet to send the email. Not sure if it would like im complaining? Or look bad against me? As we will always encounter rude personalities...not every doctor is nice like the others ive had to call.
    You are NOT complaining. You're actually doing what employees in EVERY OTHER PROFESSION EXCEPT FOR THIS ONE is told, encouraged, and in many cases bound by company policy to do.

    As for charge nurses "toughening up" those they supervise - that's BS. This is 2016, for God's sake, not 1916. My TI's in basic training did that - my COWORKER will NOT.
  11. by   carolinapooh
    Quote from 1sttime
    I also found that as a manager I observed the ramblings of many (many) nurses- do not assume the charge nurse is any better at communication. You might be polite and professional, but this doesn't mean pertinent.

    As a triage nurse I learned to be very brief and then let the MD ask any questions so that they can put the picture together.

    A third option is that maybe your charge nurse is trying to toughen you up- I had a charge nurse tell me to call a doc late at night when I noted the patient was on narcs but did not have colace ordered... that was terrible of her to do.
    Are you kidding? I started nursing at 33 years old. I didn't need "toughening up". That's what was done when I went through basic training in the Air Force. That's not your job. You're there to back up your people. You're not a TI and you're not their parent.

    It also sounds like you're advocating nurses being set up to be put in these types of situations. That's a bit predatory for my tastes - and remember, that's only what it sounds like reading it as a third party. Not good.

    A colace order can wait until the AM. Just because that was done to you (and wrongfully, I might add!) doesn't mean that's how it should be done. It's the 21st century - not the 1950s.
  12. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from carolinapooh
    Some people don't write well. (OP, I'm not saying you don't.) We aren't the content police and this isn't a forum of English professors. We also have many people on this forum for whom English is not their first language.
    It's not about "policing", it's about identifying a possible contributing cause to the OP's problem. She did come here asking for advice, after all.
  13. by   carolinapooh
    Most people don't write the way they speak. And as I said, you don't know if English is the OPs first language. In all the second language folks I've spoken with, many (in fact, most) speak it better than they write it (because the written language is always different than the spoken in practice anyway).

    Even my British husband (who is quite well educated) was a terrible "American" writer when he first came to the US - and yes, there's a huge difference, even for countries carrying a common language.

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